This Article is About
saving money
green leafy vegetables
raw food diet
grass clippings
compost pile
food scraps
swiss chard
raw vegetables
good soil
daily meals
easy solution
Saving Money: Grow Organic
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One familiar argument against a raw food diet is that it is too expensive and very difficult to find organic raw vegetables. There is an easy solution to this problem. Grow them!

Including a reduced cost, there are several benefits to starting a garden. Growing your own vegetables helps the environment by reducing the resources used to move produce to your local shelves. It’s also a great way to get kids involved in learning about where food comes from and teaching them healthier eating habits. Having your vegetables in your back yard also allows you to pick your food at the height of freshness which will increase the flavor in your raw meals.

When picking a spot for your new garden, choose a spot that has full sun and good drainage. It is easy to get overwhelmed when starting a new project, and gardens can quickly get out of hand, so start small. A spot about four feet by eight feet should be large enough to grow a variety of small vegetables. A long and narrow garden shape will allow you to weed your garden without stepping on and compacting the soil.

Good soil is the foundation of a good garden. As you are preparing your daily meals, throw your spare scraps of food into a compost pile or compost box. In addition to food scraps you can also add leaves and grass clippings to your compost. Allow your compost to sit for a growing season or two and then use your homemade fertilizer to help your garden grow. If you are in a hurry to get started, organic soil is available for purchase at many retailers and can be used to supplement your existing soil.

Once your garden area is created, you face the choice of what to grow. Green leafy vegetables, like lettuce, spinach, cabbage and swiss chard are very easy to grow, and they work well in a variety of salads and green smoothies. Radishes are also an easy vegetable to grow as they can thrive in almost all temperature zones. Another vegetable that can provide a bumper crop with very little effort is zucchini. The best thing to do when considering what to grow is to talk with other local growers, to see what does best in your temperature zone.

Make sure to research how much space your chosen vegetables will require as they will not flourish if planted too close together. There is also a lot of good information on the internet about starting your own organic garden. Also, look for certified organic seeds, or buy your plants from other organic farmers.

One common mistake new gardeners make is watering too much and too often. If you have good soil, it is ok for the top of the growing bed to be dry, but your soil should feel moist a couple inches down.

If you are constrained on space and are unable to plant a full garden, still consider planting a few vegetables in a container garden. There are certain varieties of vegetables that grow well in pots. Check with your local nursery to see which ones they provide.

You may also want to consider planting some flowers around your vegetables. They are not only appealing to the eye, but they also attract pollenators to your vegetable plants. Choose flowers that are the same color as the flowers on your vegetable plants because they will help attract the right pollenators. For example, peppers generally have white flowers so you would want to find any kind of white flower to plant next to them. Eggplants have purple flowers. Marigolds go well with tomatoes, zucchini and cucumbers because they all have yellow flowers. Marigolds have also been shown to repel pests that can destroy your crops, which is especially helpful with an organic garden.

Once your garden is established, devote a small amount of time to your garden each week for weeding, watering, and of course, harvesting. Harvesting is the fun part! I love making a raw marinara sauce with fresh garden tomatoes. It's great for lasagna, pasta, and you can even freeze it for later. Spicy kale chips are another favorite. You won't be able to keep these around for long, so be sure to plant a lot of kale!

If you have an abundance of vegetables by the end of the growing season, you can dehydrate almost anything including tomatoes, zucchini, carrots, onions, peppers, berries etc. You can add them to soups, sauces and even smoothies later in the year, so don't let anything go to waste, and you'll be enjoying the fruits of your labor all year long.

Street Talk

I like the bit about growing flowers, a lot of vegetable growers for get this

  about 1 decade ago
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